Central nervous system: headache (7%), dizziness (2%) Respiratory: upper respiratory tract infection (2%), cough (1%) Gastrointestinal: abdominal pain (5%), diarrhea (4%), nausea (4%), vomiting (3%), flatulence (3%), acid regurgitation (2%), constipation (2%)
Omeprazole, sold under the brand names Prilosec and Losec among others, is a medication used in the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease, peptic ulcer disease, and Zollinger–Ellison syndrome. It is also used to prevent upper gastrointestinal bleeding in people who are at high risk. It can be taken by mouth or injected into a vein.
Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, headaches, and increased intestinal gas. Serious side effects may include Clostridium difficile colitis, an increased risk of pneumonia, an increased risk of bone fractures, and the potential of masking stomach cancer. It is unclear if it is safe for use in pregnancy. Omeprazole is a proton pump inhibitor and as such blocks the release of stomach acid.
Omeprazole was discovered in 1979. It is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines, the most effective and safe medicines needed in a health system. It is available as a generic medication. The wholesale cost in the developing world as of 2014 is US$0.01 to US$0.07 per dose. In the United States it costs on average US$0.50 per pill.
Proton Pump inhibitors (PPIs), like Nexium and Prilosec, work to block against our stomach acids. However, they are not without serious side effects. You may be shocked (or not if you’ve been following my blog) to learn that these actually have a negative effect on gut bacteria too, and this leads to an increase in our risk of developing several serious diseases!